Tisha Beav – Hatred

Tisha Beav

A while ago I received a question via E-mail. A lady asked How can we mourn the destruction of Jerusalem on Tisha be’av when tractors are rolling through the city of Jerusalem to rebuild it?

Just the other day someone was telling me how they hate this fast day. Many feel that it is impossible to mourn for Jerusalem today when it is rebuilt.

The Navi Zechariah said the following.

This is What G-d the Lord of Hosts says: the fast of the fourth and the fast of the fifth and the fast of the seventh and the fast of the tenth will be for the House of Judah joy and happiness and good festivals and the truth and the Peace you will love.

Maybe the complaints are actually the fulfillment of a prophecy.

Some years ago, in order to infuriate religious people, Shulamit Aloni or one of her cronies, asked the question “What to do on the Tisha Be’av weekend?” The truth is that she is 100% correct. According to the prophet we should not be fasting but celebrating. The real question is, why do we continue to fast when for the first time in almost two thousand years we have the State of Israel? For the first time in thousands of years no significant country in the world has anti-semitic policies. Has the words of the prophet not come true. Our days are filled with joy and happiness.

In order to answer the question we have to examine the events which led to the destruction of the city of Jerusalem. Our Rabbis have informed us that the Temple was destroyed because of causeless hatred. Jewish infighting was so bad that certain leaders of the time called in the Romans to settle the civil unrest. The Romans had until this time been unsuccessful at conquering the Maccabian state. When the Roman general heard the request to bring order to the civil unrest he could believe what he had heard.

Today, causeless hatred: Jews hating other Jews is so rampant that we do not even blink when we hear about it. Hatred touches every strata of Jewish life. Groups like the Reform and Conservative movements have just as much in fighting as the more vocal arguments in the traditional circles.

The biggest desecration of G-d which I have witnessed took place in the office of my Allergist in Jerusalem. An American, non-observant Jewish man was having a discussion with a nun. The subject was rabbinical infighting and how this affected his precious son’s Bar-Mitzvah. At the end of the discussion the nun said to the man that the fighting was just like in her church.

When Jews disagree with each other why does every nun in the whole world need to know about it? Why did the Jews in the time of the destruction need to call the Romans to bring order to Judea?

The truth is that the answer to the question “why” is not important. The only acceptable solution is to stop hating others for stupid reasons. I have heard and read many discussions on the topic of Jewish infighting and hatred. Most come up with a flowery sermon telling people to stop hating each other.

It is best to define a problem and solve it from its root. The main rationalization for hating another Jew is that he belongs to an opposing group. The people who wear the knitted Kippah hate the ones who wear black. The opposite is also true. The Sepharadim hate the Ashkenazim. The non-observant hate the religious even more than any body.

When in a position from which we can propagate this hatred it is best to say to yourself that the member of the other group is not an idiot. He did not arrive at his point of view to look for evil. He wants to do good. Once you assume that most people want to do good the hatred will go away. My advice to every one of you is to go out of your way to like a person in another group. This will improve the Jewish people one person at a time.